Helen and Wanda [Muir]
Near Obun July 23, 1893
Hello Helen and Wanda my two darling babies. I am on a steamboat sailing down through the midst of beautiful islands along the coast of Scotland on my way to Glasgow and Edinburgh. You can see the brown heather on the hills and the sheep scatters about like white dots. It is all beautiful hereabouts like the coast of Alaska only there are very few trees all the hills and mountains are green and brown with grass and bushes and heather
The heather where it is the thickest makes the brownish patches. The heather is a good deal like Cassiope, a small shrub tufty and dense and makes delightful fragrant beds for highlanders and all lovers of fresh flowery breezy wildness. I have not yet climbed the Scotch hills to find out much about heather. I have seen two species, the bell and the common kind. It seldom grows higher than a foot or so, two feet at most. It is very hardy though so lovely and will endure any amount of trampling nibbling and burning. The sheep eat it, and heather mutton may well be the best. "
O how I would like to camp out in these shaggy hills but I must make haste and get back to my babies. I have to go to Norway a week of two and then to Switzerland and the time flies fast. The steamer shakes so much with the machinery I can hardly write.
It is a cloudy day and showery at times but the sun just now is streaming mellow "
light through shifting openings and making many a bright golden patch on the green brown hills and the water sparkles and glints and shines like silver. I must go in haste we change steamers here. Ever my darlings Your loving father John Muir"
[near] Oban, Scotland
1893 Jul 23
Original letter dimensions: 20 x 13 cm.
Muir, John, "1893 July 23 JM to daughters p1" (1893). John Muir Correspondence (PDFs). 4853.
MSS 301 Shone
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